By Victoria Ojeme

ABUJA – As part of  measures aimed at reducing maternal and child mortality in the country, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, said, yesterday, that plans were underway to recruit additional 3,000 midwives and community health workers.

Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Mohammed, told newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, that the agency, under the Midwifery Service Scheme, MSS, had concluded plans to employ 2,000 midwives, 1,000 community health officers and 600 village health workers.

He said: “For 2012, we intend to scale up the scheme because it is a successful programme and we will take on additional 2,000 midwives,1,000 community health officers,1,000 community decision workers and about 6,000 village health workers.

“The reason being that we want to scale up the services in about 500 facilities nationwide and we also want to make sure that we do have an outreach services so that the services being provided will not be only facility-based, but will also be extended to the communities.”

Mohammed said that at present, the government had employed and deployed 4,000 midwives to 1,000 facilities in a cluster of four primary health care centres linked to a general hospital.

He added that, the objective was to have skilled attendants for women when giving birth and tackle the human resource gap in the health sector, which is a critical issue.

He said: “We have operated this scheme for two years and have seen an increase in terms of women attending ante-natal clinics, women delivery in the facilities and more children being immunised at the facilities. This has translated to a reduction in maternal mortality and increase in child survival.”

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